At the mouth of the river of bees : 4.5/5
I read most of this collection back in May, and finished the last 2 stories in June. Kij Johnson interweaves fantastical elements like talking animals, aliens and spaceships, journeys of discovery and transformation, Japanese myth, stories within stories, some of which are common tropes in contemporary fantasy/sci fi. But this familiarity deepens the experience as opposed to undermining it. The beauty of this collection is that each story is so unique, so varied in style, structure and setting that it almost passes off as an anthology. Monkeys, foxes, wolves, horses, bees, cats, and dogs all play significant roles in this collection and they elevate the magic and allure of storytelling, something that I absolutely adored.
Favourites from this collection:
26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss (This story is definitely one of my most favourite story of all time, and I really feel you should read it without knowing anything about it)
Names for Water
At the mouth of the river of bees
The Cat who walked a thousand miles
The Man who bridged the mist
For all the distances travelled, mysteries solved, journeys undertaken, those strange, inexplicable factors remain. This is Johnson’s fiction: where familiarity meets fantasy, the known and unknown collide and the result is like a brilliant display of fireworks!